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Peel-and-stick wallpaper is one of the many new DIY products to hit the home renovation market. It's especially appealing for renters who may not be allowed to permanently change their space. There are also a lot of perks to peel-and-stick wallpaper for homeowners too. Gone are the days of fighting a sponge and sticky glue before laying the wallpaper, and there's no drying time. There are also plenty of designs and styles of peel-and-stick wallpaper to fit every home taste. Learning how to apply peel-and stick wallpaper only takes a few steps and tools before your home has a beautiful new finish.

Peel-and-stick wallpaper
Credit: Getty Images

Peel-and-stick wallpaper works best on smooth surfaces and satin, semi-gloss, or eggshell paint finishes. Varying brands may have different surface suggestions, so be sure to check the instructions before beginning.

When purchasing your peel-and-stick wallpaper, it's best to buy a little more that you need so there's room for cutting around tricky corners and shapes.

Supplies You'll Need:

  • Cleaning Cloth
  • Mild Cleaner
  • Measuring Tape
  • Straightedge
  • Pencil
  • Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper
  • Smoothing Tool
  • Utility Knife

How to Apply Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper

Prepare the area where you will apply wallpaper.

Using the cleaning cloth and mild cleanser, wipe the wall area that you will be covering with wallpaper. This ensures that any possible dirt or residues are gone from the wall before you begin applying the wallpaper. Be sure to let the wall dry overnight before beginning the application process.

You'll also want to remove any outlet covers and light switch covers before applying the wallpaper.  

Measure a guide on the wall.

Before you apply the wallpaper, it will be helpful to have a guiding line drawn on the wall. Measure the width of the wallpaper piece with the measuring tape and draw a corresponding pencil line on the wall with the straightedge.

Apply the peel-and-stick wallpaper.

Slowly apply the wallpaper onto the wall by peeling about six to eight inches of the backing off the piece. Once you've secured the top of the piece to the wall, you can slowly peel off the rest of the backing in six-to-eight-inch parts. Move from the middle of the section outward, when smoothing the wallpaper with the smoothing tool. Cut any excess paper with the utility knife after applying each section.

Match the pattern as you apply.

If you're working with a distinctly patterned wallpaper, be sure to align the designs before applying the paper to the wall.

Work around outlets, light switches, windows, and door frames.

As you're applying the wallpaper, you may come across the occasional outlet, or a window. Let the piece of wallpaper overlap any of these obstructions, and once you're done with that section, go back and cut the excess paper with the utility knife. For smaller areas like outlets and light switches, you don't have to worry about the cut being perfect because it will be covered when you replace the plastic wall covers.

Smooth any bubbles.

Once you're completely done applying wallpaper to your desire area, you can poke any air bubbles with a small pin and then smooth out the air with the smoothing tool.

How to Remove Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper

Whether it's time for a little change in your décor, or you're moving out of your apartment, you should know how to remove the beautiful peel-and-stick wallpaper that you once loved. This part in your DIY wallpaper journey takes less time and attention to detail compared to the application process, and it only requires a screwdriver to remove any plastic outlet or wall switch covers.

Once you've removed any covers, start in a corner of a wallpaper section, and begin to peel the wallpaper away slowly and evenly. Don't yank the section or this could result in peeling paint off the wall with the paper or possibly tearing the wallpaper section.

If you want to take your wallpaper with you to your next home, or save it for another DIY project, you should save the backing of the wallpaper. Lay the section that you've pulled off the wall on the ground sticky side up, and then slowly roll the waxy side of the wallpaper backing onto the section. If you misplaced, or threw away your wallpaper backing, parchment paper also works well.

The removal process is as simple as can be! Your newly blank wall is now ready for a fresh look.

Related Items

Amazon Wallpaper Kit
Credit: Amazon

Wallpaper Smoothing Tool Kit

BUY IT: $4.18; amazon.com

This tool kit comes with two different smoothing tools and a craft knife to make the wallpaper process even easier.